Empowering Women’s Roles in Corporate Governance

11:20:45 AM | 19/3/2021

Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery and sustainable development have become increasingly urgent requirements for businesses. Many studies show that promoting equality values, providing employment opportunities and career development for both genders, and empowering women’s roles in leadership enable strengthening the team, building an ideal workplace, and nurturing core cultural values and employee cohesion. This is the foundation for a business to steadily overcome the crisis and make a breakthrough.

In that context, the Vietnam Business Coalition for Women's Empowerment (VBCWE) cooperated with the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to organize the workshop “Lead the Change in the New Normal” to connect the voices of stakeholders, from businesses to domestic and international organizations, and representatives of the Vietnamese business community, to discuss solutions on sustainable development together in the changing period from the perspective of gender equality in the workplace.

VBCWE is funded by the Australian Government's Investing in Women initiative, assisting Vietnam to increase gender equality in the workplace and increase women's economic empowerment. Australian Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam, Andrew Barnes, said that companies with diverse leadership teams and strong commitments to achieving gender equality in the workplace must demonstrate better adaptability to innovation, thereby becoming more productive and more profitable.

Mr. Andrew Barnes expressed his delight that the Gender Equality Assessment, Results and Strategies (GEARS) tool for gender equality in the workplace will be widely introduced. GEARS is developed by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) of the Australian Government and adapted to practices in Vietnam by VBCWE. GEARS helps businesses understand problems, opportunities and strengths of workplace gender equality strategy, thus helping improve business results.

Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) was awarded to nine companies in Vietnam, including Deloitte Vietnam, SASCO and Alphanam which stood among Top 50 certified EDGE MOVE in the world - the second level on three levels of the EDGE certification, demonstrating their strong commitments and serious efforts for promoting gender equality in the workplace towards sustainability goals.

VBCWE and VBCSD also signed a cooperation agreement affirming their commitment to support and develop a partnership for the purpose of promoting gender equality and increasing women’s economic rights in the business community in Vietnam. Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, VCCI General Secretary and VBCSD Executive Vice President, said, VBCSD-VBCWE cooperation initiatives demonstrate their strategic vision for inspiring the business community to enhance their resilience and competitiveness for better integration through gender equality.

“To lead the change in the new normal, businesses need to think differently, do differently and need a new mindset for old matters. Gender equality is not only Goal 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations but also needs to be recognized by businesses as one of levers for long-term business growth, especially in the context of Vietnam where the share of women in the labor market is remarkably high,” he said.

Mr. Pham Hoang Hai, Head of Partnership Group at VBCSD Secretariat, said that essential factors that help businesses recover their economy and sustain development in the new normal are integrated in the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) as a support tool for improving the effectiveness of corporate governance. He emphasized that, with the cooperation and companionship of VBCWE, CSI 2021 will have many changes in Labor-Social indicators, which focus on promoting gender equality and increasing women’s rights and roles at work.

By Lien -Ly, Vietnam Business Forum